By Toyin Owoseje, CNN
(CNN)”Friends” star James Michael Tyler has revealed he is battling stage 4 prostate cancer. The 59-year-old actor, who is best known for playing Gunther — the Central Perk manager and Rachel’s admirer — on the hit ’90s sitcom for 10 seasons, discussed his diagnosis during an appearance on NBC’s Today Show Monday.
Actor James Michael Tyler (@slate_michael) played Gunther on “Friends” for 10 years, but he was unable to attend the recent cast reunion in person because he’s been battling a serious health issue. Now he’s sharing his news for the first time with @craigmelvin. pic.twitter.com/272tg4Sbvc— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 21, 2021
“In September of 2018, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” he told host Craig Melvin.According to Tyler, doctors discovered his cancer during a routine physical when he was 56. He was treated with hormone therapy
Last month, Tyler made an appearance via Zoom on the “Friends: The Reunion” special. The special, which aired on HBO Max, saw the main cast — Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry — revisit some of the biggest on-screen moments and discuss their memories of the show.
Asked whether the “Friends” cast already knew about his illness, Tyler said the show’s producers had been aware “for a long time” and that Schwimmer had corresponded with him on Instagram. According to the Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and the second-biggest cause of cancer death for men in the United States. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, others are aggressive and can spread quickly.
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